Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Van Gogh Art Activity Pack

Van Gogh Art Activity Pack

Mila Boutan
Novelty Art Kit
For ages 6 to 10
Chronicle Books, 1991   ISBN: 978-0811813129

There is very little doubt that once you have seen a Van Gogh painting you will probably be able to recognize his work when you see it again. In the book in this excellent kit you will learn what it is about Van Gogh's paintings that makes them unique and also what effect the painter was trying to achieve using his techniques.

First of all there is color. Van Gogh is famous for using bright colors as much as possible. Often he was drawn to a scene because it was not so much structurally interesting but because the colors were so wonderful and he wanted to capture them on canvas.

Next there is the way in which Van Gogh used his brush strokes to give the sense of movement. By changing the direction of his strokes he would give what he was painting a different look. By examining several of his most famous paintings in detail the author is able to show us how Van Gogh used color and his unique brush stroke techniques to great effect.

The book also includes a concise and yet thorough picture of Van Gogh the man. We learn how he came to become a painter and how his brother was the only person who really believed that Vincent was indeed a great painter.

In addition to the book you will find an ""Artist's Notebook"" which will help the reader develop his or her own artistic skills. You are encouraged to paint some of objects that Van Gogh chose and to see things as he might have done.

Finally there is a poster to paint.

This kit will provide a wonderful introduction to the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh and also give a unique hands-on approach to studying his paintings and techniques.